President Biden gave his State of the Union address on Tuesday, starting with a friendly call for Republicans and Democrats to work together, but later accusing Republicans of jeopardizing Medicare and Social Security, leading to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shouting, “Liar!” There were several other outbursts and boos from Republicans throughout the speech.
Biden spent the most amount of time talking about the economy, emphasizing his economic achievements, including the pandemic recovery, pushing for reforms and criticizing Republican inaction.
Here are all the highlights.
Higher Corporate Taxes
Biden criticized the tax system as unjust and demanded that Congress increase taxes on top corporations. He stated that it was not fair for 55 of the largest companies in the country to make $40 billion in profits in 2020 and pay no federal taxes.
He proposed that Congress increase the tax on corporate stock buybacks four-fold while still allowing corporations to make substantial profits. Biden stated that it was time for these companies to pay their fair share and emphasized that his plan would not result in anyone earning less than $400,000 a year paying more in taxes.
Support For Parents
Biden highlighted the need to support working parents, saying, “Let’s make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days” by providing “paid family medical leave” and “affordable child care.”
He urged Congress to re-establish the entire Child Tax Credit, which he claimed provided “relief for millions of parents” and reduced child poverty. The proposal has encountered challenges in the Senate.
Economy and Inflation
“Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months, while take home-pay has gone up,” Biden said. He touted the falling price of gas and food. While inflation has fallen to 6.5% (versus a high of 9%), Americans are still paying a lot more for groceries and gas than they were just a year ago.
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Biden called on lawmakers to limit the monthly cost of insulin to $35, condemning pharmaceutical companies for profiting from the essential medication.
“It costs the drug companies roughly $10 a vial to make that insulin,” Biden said. “But Big Pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars, $400 to $500, and making record profits.”
Republicans have so far blocked the measure from passing, which was proposed as part of the inflation reduction act.
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Biden called on Congress to increase the debt ceiling, blaming the Trump administration for mounting record levels of debt.
“Nearly 25% of the entire national debt that took 200 years to accumulate was added by just one administration alone,” Biden said. “How did Congress respond to all that debt? They lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions.”
He continued: “Tonight I’m asking Congress to follow suit. Let’s commit here tonight to the full faith and credit of the United States of America will never, ever be questioned.”
Biden paid tribute to Tyre Nichols’ family and advocated for comprehensive police reform. Nichols, 29, lost his life after being brutally beaten by Memphis police officers during a traffic stop last month. “Imagine having to worry like that every single time your kid got in the car. Our children have a right to come home safely.”
Ban Assault Weapons
Biden also called for a ban on assault weapons, prompting applause and standing ovation from some democrats. Biden recounted the details of Brandon Tsay’s act of heroism, highlighting how he found the courage to save lives when he disarmed a mass shooter at a dance hall in California last month. The shooter had already claimed 11 lives.
Political Violence Must End
The President declared that democracy has been threatened and put to the test in recent years, especially during the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riots and an attack on previous speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, by an assailant who was influenced by the “big lie.” Biden emphasized that there is no room for political violence in America.
President Biden acknowledged the threat posed by China. He emphasized the importance of investing in American innovation as a way to compete with China, which he stated aims to dominate the industries shaping the future. Interestingly, he did not directly refer to the recently shot-down Chinese surveillance balloon.
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LGBTQ and Abortion Rights
President Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ Americans can live with dignity. He specifically highlighted the need for protections for transgender young people, with an alarming increase in bills targeting LGBTQ rights being filed this year.
He also emphasized the importance of abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s decision to “take away” the right to an abortion. He criticized states enforcing “extreme abortion bans” and said he would veto any national abortion ban passed by Congress.
Related Article: Many Republicans Don’t Support a National Abortion Ban Due to A Surprising Reason
Biden called for Republicans to join him in passing immigration reform, stating that it was previously a bipartisan issue. He mentioned that unlawful migration has decreased by 97% since implementing a new border plan.
Junk Fee Prevention Act
Biden targeted companies that impose concealed charges on consumers and called on Congress to enact the Junk Fee Prevention Act. He highlighted unexpected “resort fees” added by hotels to bills, service fees on concert tickets, and charges for changing phone companies, saying, “Give me a break.”
The president stated that Americans are tired of being taken advantage of (we agree).
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